Vegetarian Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
1 Cucumber, diced
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 Red onion cut into thin slices crosswise
1 cup Green and black olives cut in quarters
1 cup Feta
1 cup of white rice
1 cup of Greek yogurt
30ml Lemon juice (one-quarter of a lemon)
¼ olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon coriander powder
½ tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Time Management Tips
I recommend starting by getting your chickpeas cooking. This will take around 30 minutes including the time it takes for the Instant Pot to build pressure. When you’ve got that cooking you can prep the marinade and cut up all of the other ingredients for your Buddha bowls. I would also recommend preheating your oven to 370℉ when your Instant Pot reads 5 minutes remaining. By the time that your beans are cooked, all you will need to do is pop the beans in the oven with the marinade while you make your rice. This will cut down your overall cooking time by half (I got you, mommy!).
Pro Tip: Repurpose your leftovers. You can cut some of the tomato and cucumber into thin slices on an angle and put them aside. I use these the following day to make a Greek wrap for lunch. Alternatively, you can just throw all of the cut-up veggies in a bowl with a little olive oil for a flavorful salad!
Chickpeas - to soak or not to soak?
Personally, I am a big fan of simplifying the chickpea process by leveraging my Instant Pot and skipping the soak all together. There just aren't enough hours in the day! But are there benefits to soaking them first? I found this great article with a ton of helpful information on cooking these little powerhouse beans at Detoxinista.com (https://detoxinista.com/instant-pot-chickpeas/).
I have typically cooked the beans from dry, but chickpeas can (in some cases) cause digestive discomfort. Not everyone has this sensitivity, but it is something to consider. It is suggested that you can extract some of the indigestible sugars that cause gas and bloat by soaking them in water before cooking them. If you don’t have 8 hours to soak the beans you can quick-soak them in the Instant Pot as well.
Quick Soak Method (Courtesy of Detoxinista.com)
Put one cup of dry chickpeas in the instant pot with 3 cups of water and set to Pressure Cook for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and open the steam valve. Rinse, drain and cook!
Pour one cup of dry chickpeas into the Instant Pot along with 3 cups of water. Close the lid and make sure that the pressure valve is sealed. Set to pressure cook for 25 minutes and let slow release when done.
While the chickpeas are cooking, start prepping the other ingredients and mixing your marinade.
Dice the tomato and cucumber. I really love hothouse tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes, if they are locally sourced that is even better. But it really comes down to what your preferences are. Place your onion with the cut side down and cut thin slices crosswise. Cut the olives in quarters.
Put all of the ingredients for the marinade in a medium size bowl (you'll be using this to mix the chickpeas in when they are done).
When the Instant Pot indicates 5 minutes remaining, now is a good time to preheat your oven to 370℉.
When the pin falls on the Instant Pot indicating that all of the pressure has been released. It is safe to retrieve your goods! Rinse them under cold water in a colander before adding them to the marinade.
Add the cooked chickpeas to the marinade and mix them until they are covered. Spread them on a baking tray over parchment paper (this marinade gets messy as it cooks). Bake the chickpeas for about 10-15 minutes (or until golden) at 370℉, flipping once.
While your chickpeas are roasting, start making your rice. I am partial to basmati rice, but this is completely up to you. You can even skip the rice all together and lay all of these yummy ingredients over a bed of fresh mixed greens.
Lastly - Bring it all together! In a shallow bowl, add a little rice and top it with chickpeas, feta, tomato, cucumber, onion, olives and a dollop of Tzatziki.
Not feeling the chickpeas?
This marinade also works really well with chicken, so if poultry is more your speed,sub in it!
Want to skip the rice?
Try this on a salad!